English Vinglish (2012) is a Hindi movie. Gauri Shinde has directed this movie. Sridevi,Adil Hussain,Mehdi Nebbou,Priya Anand are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2012. English Vinglish (2012) is considered one of the best Comedy,Drama,Family movie in India and around the world.
The story of a quiet, sweet tempered housewife who endures small slights from her well educated husband and daughter everyday because of her inability to speak and understand English. She is resourceful and open-minded but somehow these traits don't get noticed by them. Then one day on a trip to visit her sister in Manhattan she decides to enroll in an English Learners class and meets a host of new people who teach her to value herself beyond the narrow perspective of her family.
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Many will know I have been following Bollywood films over the last few years with keen interest, with one of the prime reasons being, why not? We have dedicated halls and screens which are always showing the latest the industry has to offer, very often having same day premieres, and I cannot fathom having to close this option off for the lack of language ability. English subtitles is a boon, and my only option to understand what's being said on screen. English is of course the plot element here in this film, written and directed by Gauri Shinde, who has made a film that's strong in heart, and powerful in performance. I'm talking about Sridevi's comeback to cinema, having retired some 15 years ago to raise her kids. And this leave of absence surely helped her in her protagonist role here, but more on that later. For those unaware, like I was previously, Sridevi is arguably the best actress Indian Cinema has produced over the last few decades, and it is only today that I fully understood why. Her performance as Shashi, the traditional Indian housewife, is impeccable, and the littlest of nuances put into her role, reaped results in the manifold. As a line of dialogue described, her eyes are like coffee drops in a saucer of milk, and that in itself is an understatement. Charisma is something that you have, or have not, and Sridevi's presence is something that arrests your attention immediately when she comes on screen. Carrying the entire movie, it's unbelievable to think that she's pushing 50 already, as her performance here will probably inspire many actresses of today's generation sit up and take note, to realize that they still have a long way to go to reach a fraction of her level. I'm sold, impressed, and very eager to catch up on her filmography to see what more she had to offer during the 80s and 90s when she was at the peak of her popularity then. Her comeback in English Vinglish is a casting coup for its filmmakers, and let's not forget Shinde's story which was custom fit for her as well, playing the role of a mother, which probably made it quite an easy transition back to the industry. But it's an important role because one of the key takeaways from the narrative, is how we often take those who love us for granted, and as part of the process, inadvertently hurt them too. We may not realize it, or sometimes we do, but these hurt will likely be the worst possible. A callous word and a careless comment go a long way, and is difficult to, or sometimes cannot be taken back. It's something many of us have been through and experienced, regardless which side of the equation one was on, where respect does not get accorded, and where words go out to make others feel small about themselves. In Shashi's case, this happens to be her lack of command in the English language, perceived to be an ability of social status, made quite unbearable when her children thinks it so, and when her husband (Adil Hussain) also gets in on a private joke with their daughter. The film's story worked on many layers, and what I especially admired is how Sridevi becomes the spokesperson for lessons without being too overt about it, save for the ending speech that hammers in the emotion, and is sure to make your eyes well up. It deals with, on a macro level, how as humans we should be helpful and tolerant to those who don't speak our language or understand our culture, that one shouldn't be made to think one's superior just because, or make the other look small. And on the more micro level, the structure of the family and its importance. All these and more, told through a story about a woman finding her inner strength to stand out, stand up and be counted, building and reinforcing confidence that she's more than just a Laddoo machine. But social factors aside, the more obvious ingredient that's put into the movie, is the Mind Your Language type scenes when Shashi enrolls herself into an English crash course to learn conversational English in four weeks. Instead of Mr Brown, there's Mr David (Cory Hibbs) the teacher (whose sexual orientation again highlights the differences in the human race and the need for tolerance and acceptance), and a motley crew of classmates from various parts of the world bonding together. From a woman who centered her life around family, building a network of friends became something of a lifeline of sorts, in keeping life interesting through the sharing of experiences, and of course, food. English Vinglish has everything a typical Indian film contains, from comedy to romance - handled with such maturity - culture and language. What more, it has Sridevi's remarkable return, showing why she was, and still is, one of the iconic female actresses ever to grace the screens of Indian Cinema. A definite recommendation, and though formulaic at parts, is delivered with such slickness, that I'd shortlist it as one of the best this year.
The essence of few stories lies in its simplicity portraying characters from our day-to-day lives and their struggle. English Vinglish is one such beautifully woven simple concept with which audience can identify themselves. English Vinglish is the story of Mrs Shashi Godvale,a regular home-maker from an upper middle-class household whose life revolves around doing the regular household chores. Alongwith homemaking she keeps her passion for cooking intact and within the homely set-up started a small scale business by making laaddoos. Her potential never gets the due diligence from either her indifferent husband who seem to get charged up only in bed, or her daughter who is ashamed of her mother's lack of English knowledge. It seems her lack of sophistication has even crafted the gap with her husband. She is more connected to her little son and her caring mother-in-law. Under circumstances she lands up in New York for her elder niece's wedding and eventually in an English tuition class and the story follows how her life changes thereafter. Learning a new language is symbolic of a key to regain her long lost confidence and self-esteem. Gauri Shinde's directorial debut needs to be applauded for the sheer treatment of the film. She wrote a dignified script which never crossed the line becoming overtly-dramatic. Her skill lies in passing a relevant message without getting didactic. The film re-iterates the importance of woman in our lives. In fact it is dedicated to all the middle-class housewives who are never valued in their own household in this patriarchal society.Mrs Godvale showcases pathos of all such women who are dying under the burden of inconsequential existence even though they have significant potential unexplored. Shinde's script does justice to all the characters. The characters are simple and relatable. Mr Godvale is never depicted as a wife beating devil or an infidel husband. He is just a regular working professional who has lost interest in her wife due to cultural differences and sadly that's the scenario of most arranged marriages (still) happening in our country where the wife is not at par as husband in terms of social strata. Such a marriage becomes a compromise, unsigned deal where physical proximity is rampant but the mental bonding is like searching meaning in a RohitShetty film. The English tuition reminds us of famous yesteryear serial "Zaban Sambhalke" where genius Pankiaj Kapoor played the Hindi teacher. There we had hybrid of cultures which created hilarious sequences due to their differences but by the end they got united under the umbrella of a common language. The setting is similar here and the students here are well-edged characters who help in elevating the pace of the film. With mixture of various cultures the experience that comes out is satisfyingly hilarious. Using the back-drop of the tuition class Shinde throws subtle hints on different issues like Indo-Pak peace, tolerance towards homosexuals and understanding them etc. She even used this medium to hint on the hypocrite mindset of male dominated Indo-Pak society as they verbally attacked the French student for openly admitting his soft corner towards Shashi. The relationship between Shahshi and the french student Laurent reminded of relationship shown in WoodyAllen's films. As she converse in Hindi and he reciprocates in French, there seem to be exchange of bouquet of emotions even though they are alien to each other's language. That's the power of feeling and mutual respect which Shashi wanted from her husband. Shashi & Laurent relationship remained as sweet and subtle as the rest of the film. The film can be summarized in one statement of Godvale where she sadly exclaimed that she doesn't need love; she needs Respect. It seems majority of the woman of India is speaking through her and with watery eyes I remember my own mother.I had even lost the opportunity to hug her and openly express my love for her which I never did while she was there beside me Technically the film is well edited by Hemanti Sarkar. The scenes never looked dragged. Utekar's cinematography added the feel-good factor without swaying into K Jo style of escapist extravaganza. Amit Trivedi's music is, as always, rocking. He manages to surprise with every film and his music syncs with the mood of the film, never looking like a separate music album unlike most music directors' scores. Swanand Kirkire is a gifted lyricist and he proved his mettle yet again. And special mention to casting directors (Rita & Sean Powers) who came up with some brilliant and off-beat cast for the film. Sridevi is plain brilliant as Mrs Godvale. I was never a Sridevi fan but was amused by her potential which I felt was never utilized to the fullest barring few films. She looked confident and underplayed her role to suit the character. Adil Hussain as her husband is expectantly efficient and did justice to his NSD degree. One of the finest actors, I sincerely hope this film opens more doors for him. Experienced French actor Mehedi Nebbou was fantastic in the role of Laurent and expressed with his eyes. His equation with Sridevi deserves mention. Priya Anand is spontaneous as Shashi's niece who instills confidence in Shashi's character. Cory Hibbs is rocking as the English teacher. The whole bunch of actors as the students of English tuition are superb. Rest of the supporting cast are all splendid especially the adorable kid who played Shahshi's son. Amitabh Bachchan is present in a meaningful cameo in the flight scene. Overall English Vinglish is a simple and linear yet effective,a touching story of majority housewives of our previous generation. While we are heading towards a more independent society we sincerely hope the mindset towards our woman changes so that we can Really be Proud of our culture and parampara.Hope the time is not far away with more Godvale's understanting their worth and fighting to earn back their dignity rather than letting oneself to be a subject of sympathy.
"If we don't love ourselves we use to attract towards new things but as soon as we began to love ourselves we feel confident and old things look prettier again." This is one dialogue from the movie's lead protagonist which teaches how one can come back to his normal life; English Vinglish is a sweet Laddu with almonds of a logical script, cashew nuts of nice music, raisins of love and pistachios of Hope. English Vinglish is not about just English classes, it's just a metaphor or platform to narrate a simple yet very effective story of self determination, self respect and love about family and love about ourselves. English Vinglish is undoubtedly a movie about the Family, the children & their attitude towards their parents, the husband who does not see his wife skills and potential beyond a born Laddu Maker and yes, it's about a mother who lost her identity as a woman in the society after marriage being a house wife, as her world does not go beyond her family. Shashi Godbole (Sridevi) is a simple middle class housewife living with her husband Satish (Adil Hussain) along with her daughter Sapna and a son named Sagar in Pune, India. She is an excellent cook searching for her own respect among children and husband due to poor understanding of English language. One day she got the call from her sister to visit New York to attend her daughter's wedding, but she was reluctant to go alone because of her poor English language, thou she finally agreed on her husband's persuasion. In New York, during her visit to a café she felt humiliated due to her understanding of English language which brought a reason for her to fight against the odds and make a place for herself. She left from there and suddenly saw an advertisement for four weeks English speaking classes and that's how she got the way to prove herself by learning a language which is global now and a synonym of 'Being Modern' in Indian societies called English, for Her VINGLISH. Overall, English Vinglish is a memorable watch for the genuine script, superb performances, nice music and definitely the feel good factor it has. In Last scene, Shashi requests the air hostess a Hindi newspaper in English Language, and that's we called in Sridevi's MJ Style without getting 'Judgemental' –YoOO. Regards Your's AvA For complete review Please visit www.thecritiquelab.com Readers' Feedback is appreciated
English Vinglish is a beautiful journey that a middle class Indian housewife takes, to regain something she lost or probably never really got, ironically enough, in a foreign land with a foreign language as a tool. The movie has a simple plan, and audience gets to know about it right at the beginning. There ain't any surprises or twists therein to wow you, its purely the execution of a simple yet universally appealing plot that makes English Vinglish one of the most beautifully made movie of the year. This is a sort of cinema which has traditionally been oiled with loads of melodrama and any director would have wanted to do that considering the fact that people who are going to relate the most with the central character are most prone to be pleasantly affected by the overdose of melodrama ( Yes, I am being a little 'judgemental' here!). Credit must go to Gauri Shinde for shunning the temptation and going ahead with a recipe where she was able to create delight out of right mix of ingredients rather than putting a coating of sugar on the 'laddoos'. Make no mistake, the feel good factor of the movie isn't there just because all the pieces have been put together in the correct order but also because there are layers attached to the story and the characters. These layers help English Vinglish surpass the expectations that an ordinary viewer would have had with it before stepping into the cinema theatre. These layers have been treated with utmost care and are interwoven in the script with great skill. Even though the plot of the movie doesn't encapsulate many genres, the scenes are successful in generating a range of emotions. Thanks to the central plot, humor becomes a part of majority of the scenes and it is never forced upon you.The entertainment quotient of EV is way more than one would have expected. There are a few sequences which could have easily gone in the zone of 'Oh, thats ridiculous!' but yet they were right there in the 'that will do all right' category and this was only possible because of masterful Sridevi who hasn't lost even an inch of her charm and she still stands way ahead of any of the contemporary actresses when it comes to the art of acting. Her presence is so overpowering that one hardly notices or gets annoyed by certain instances of manufactured dialogues and stereotypical display of characters. The journey, the transformation and its impact on the movie and the audience wouldn't have had half the quality had there not been Sridevi at the helm. Every other actor (and guest actor) plays their part well enough to create the right garnish for this savory meal. Without taking any credit away from Gauri Shinde, everything from costumes, to music and locations to screenplay had impressions of R Balki's(producer) previous works and he would have been of great help in the making of EV as well. The affect that English Vinglish will have on a particular individual will depend on the relationship that he/she has with the one/two women that hold the most important place(s) in their lives. The degree of impact will vary, though one thing is for sure, it will only lie on the right side of the axis. http://imnotafilmcritic.blogspot.in/
I rarely watch Hindi movies. Rarer still do I come back appreciating them. English Vinglish is worth it, even a bleary-eyed 6 am review, right after seeing the movie. After just about making it across town to the PVR at Oberoi Mall, Goregaon, was amazed to see that most of the invitees were on time, with thousands of eager fans, waiting to glimpse their favourite stars, and of course the star of the film. As if one needed a reminder, large billboards of Sridevi in a saree against the New York skyline, looking lost, stared back at us all the way. The selling point for this film till the opening has been Sridevi's comeback. For people like me, who aren't a big Sridevi fan, it wasn't the most exciting news. But to contrast, my cousin in the US, much younger than me, and surprisingly a huge fan, (after all she had missed the superstar Sridevi days), has been waiting for this with great anticipation. After the movie got over, I too can be counted as one of the fans. For her fantastic performance. Also for being perfectly cast in the lead role. The pre-hype had already got the basics of the plot out - Indian woman in New York who doesn't know the language, has to pick it up double quick with the help of a motley bunch of fellow non-English speakers. I wouldn't blame you for thinking, "Hey, it must be a 'Mind Your Language' equivalent, I've seen that." Well it is much more than that. Gauri Shinde the award winning short film director and ad film maker is someone we were familiar with. We knew her passion and the dedication to the craft. Her ability to put the story across with minimum fuss. What was a revelation was Gauri Shinde the script writer. English Vinglish is a tight script. Its sweet without being cloying. It holds a mirror where it has to, and at other moments shows the way. The single mindedness of the story and lack of familiar Bollywood distractions of supporting comedians, songs (there are a couple, but in appropriate places), arch villains and hammy side kicks, is what makes the story click. It is humorous, even in the 'familiar' classroom scenes, it is poignant, well-shot, without making New York a tourism board sponsored promotional video. One could sense the director's familiarity with the city, it was obvious she didn't need much help from location scouts. The casting is bang-on. The two kids are a revelation. Especially the younger one. He could be our version of Dakota Fanning. The elder sister was good too, but given that she has age and much more worldly experience on her side to draw upon, I would judge the sibling's performance higher. But that's just nitpicking. The teacher and the co-students are good too. And they make the film lighter. The rest of the family does really well to make this slightly-more-than-a-month-in-the-life-of Mrs Godbole in Pune / New York shine in a warm familial glow. A couple of surprises in terms of guest appearances. On hindsight, one of them is an obvious one, given that R Balki's produced the movie. There is a nice balance to the struggle of restricting English dialogue in an English language setting for a largely Hindi audience in a mainstream Hindi movie. After all, it is a Bollywood movie, for everyone, including the person who has painted 'Ladis' and 'Gends' at the convenience near Byculla, which I happened to pass by in the morning. So the grammar lessons are few and far between, language is used to convey mood and feelings, not necessarily the exact content, and dialogue only when it's absolutely necessary. The cowering, lost woman transforms into a confident and self-aware person. That too without stretching the limits of believability. She doesn't suddenly become an orator in the newly learnt language. She doesn't lose her shyness either. Special mention here of Sridevi, she allows the director to lead her and doesn't overpower the narrative, with a held back, controlled performance. She could have tried to do a lot more, considering this was 'her' film, after like a zillion years. That is where the film hits you. It's real. You can easily identify with it. And is therefore that much more enjoyable. I don't have stars to dole out. Just hugs for the entire team, because, like many others know, it's not easy to make a good film. That too your first one, and at the same time having the guts to relaunch someone's career after many years. Excellent Vexellent.